Author Archives: Damien Kingsbury

About Damien Kingsbury

Halal elections for Aceh

When Aceh’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in Helsinki in 2005, it was intended to bring peace to Aceh. This was not just intended to end to the fighting between the Free Aceh Movement and the Government of Indonesia, but to bring peace for all Acehnese in all circumstances, based on rebuilding their lives […]

Backlash against Belgian terrorist attack to feed into terrorist logic

THE latest attack by Islamist terrorists in Brussels has many asking whether it is possible for Western intelligence agencies to get on top of this continuing threat. It is known that there is a deeply embedded network of Islamist terrorists which appears to be able to strike at will with devastating consequences, but it is […]

Bongbong makes his move

It is perhaps a little unfair to say that only in the Philippines would the people consider electing a politician known by the otherwise clownish name of ‘Bongbong’. But equally, and arguably more fairly, in very few places but the Philippines would voters consider electing as vice-president the unapologetic son of a corrupt and brutal […]

Doing right by East Timor should be bipartisan policy

The Timor Sea issue is back on the national agenda following the announcement on Wednesday by shadow foreign minister Tanya Plibersek that Labor will, in government, scrap the existing Timor Sea Treaty. She said that Labor would enter into new negotiations on a permanent boundary between Australia and East Timor and, if a negotiated settlement […]

The horrors of Madaya are far from over

As aid convoys entered the besieged Syrian city of Madaya, the horrors of “walking skeletons” earned the Assad regime further, justified international condemnation. This follows its direct attacks against civilians, the use of chemical weapons, and the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs. The atrocities of Islamic State and the less visible war crimes of the […]

North Korea bomb test: Kim Jong-Un is riding a tiger he dares not dismount

North Korea’s claimed success in testing a hydrogen bomb – a thermonuclear weapon significantly more powerful than an atomic bomb – has set the world on edge. Any testing of a nuclear weapon by a non-signatory to the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty, especially a rogue state such as North Korea, is cause for concern. That […]

How the downing of a Russian warplane will change the Syrian conflict

It was almost inevitable that, in a geographically small, complex and multi-layered conflict, that once the aircraft from different nations starting flying combat missions in close proximity there would be problems. The question now is, with two Turkish F-16 aircraft having shot down a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 in the Turkey-Syria border region, where will this […]

Paris attacks: What Islamic State is trying to achieve

Last Friday night’s horrific attacks in Paris have, yet again, pushed the panic buttons of much the Western media and the political leaders of Western countries. If Islamist extremists can strike at will at the heart of Paris then, it seems, none of us are safe. And, of course, we all sympathise deeply with the […]

Myanmar’s elections: generally free but constitutionally unfair

The Australian delegation to Myanmar’s general elections is pleased to announce that, despite extensive minor irregularities and some pre-election intimidation and political violence, the electoral process has proceeded in a generally free manner and its results are a legitimate expression of the will of its people. Votes were cast across most parts of the country […]